King Nebuchadnezzar, To the peoples, nations and men of every language,1 who live in all the world: May you prosper greatly!2
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It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs3 and wonders that the Most High God4 has performed for me.
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How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders!5 His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures6 from generation to generation.
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I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented7 and prosperous.
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I had a dream8 that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed,9 the images and visions that passed through my mind10 terrified me.11
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So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret12 the dream for me.
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When the magicians,13 enchanters, astrologers and diviners14 came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.15
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Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar,16 after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods17 is in him.)
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I said, "Belteshazzar, chief18 of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods19 is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me.
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These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed:20 I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.21
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The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.22
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Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches;23 from it every creature was fed.
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"In the visions I saw while lying in my bed,24 I looked, and there before me was a messenger, a holy one,25 coming down from heaven.
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He called in a loud voice: 'Cut down the tree26 and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches.27
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But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. " 'Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth.
Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him.28
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" 'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High29 is sovereign30 over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest31 of men.'
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"This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me.32 But you can,33 because the spirit of the holy gods34 is in you."35
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